How to Build an Employer Brand: Tap into Emotions and Hire the Right People
As recruitment slowly moves away from agencies, discovering better results through well thought out technology and advertising, we are required to consider more deeply – what are the things that actually make people want to click apply? Before overthinking this process one of the core elements an organisation of any size should identify what is your unique proposition of benefit to a potential candidate?
The traditional focus has been on the benefits of a role, things such as money, leave, company vehicle, cell phone. These were the things that made the difference between working at company A, compared to company B. However like all good competition, most of these things are offered by businesses as standard now – making it difficult to stand out to a candidate.
So the question is, how can we connect with a job seeker on beyond just listing benefits?
Now, what we now need to consider is how to make an emotional connection with job seekers. What is the purpose of your organisation, and what difference does it make? (This may sound airy, but bear with me.) At work there are days many of us hate being there - days that feel unproductive and pointless. On the good days, we get a sense of achievement and completion. So, in the context of your employment what does this mean to someone considering joining you? What work does your business do to benefit the wider community, and what sense of achievement will they get from joining you.
If you’re thinking about employing a marketing strategy then you need to think about emotion. Whether you’re trying to elicit a laugh or a goosebump the way to get a response out of someone is to make them associate your brand with something positive.
There are a range of different emotions you could go for:
1. Positive – This is the feel good factor, what difference are you making to when joining an organisation
2. Shock – this is stuff that stuns people, that they feel this information needs to be shared
3. Fear – What are you missing out on if you don’t work here. This kind of strategy is used a lot in content marketing. Things such as ‘5 things you might be missing out on’.
The easy one to go for is positive, and consumer marketing has done it for years - Air New Zealand regularly packages up an image of loving embrace sell their product, making no difference to the fact they functionally fly a plane through the air. Take a look at the example below Air NZ’s new Child Airband product – functionally it’s just a service that tracks your kid travelling solo, sending you a text saying Emma made it in one piece to Palmerston North. But the value is in the emotion and the knowledge that your child is safe.
(Source: Air New Zealand Airband™ - connecting you with the ones you love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfWvKUKIn30)
It’s the same story with their “#wheretonext” campaign, capturing “epic adventures to intimate moments… a celebration of the unique Kiwi spirit”. Again Air NZ purposefully gives air travel a human face by capturing the emotion that it creates.
(Source:Air New Zealand #Wheretonext Commercial Extended Version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwssGNeXYXo)
Great emotion leading work in the recruitment space is beginning to take place, providing us examples of how to snapshot human emotion and translate that into the creative that captures why someone would want to join an organisation. One of these is a new recruitment drive lead by the National Health Service in the UK.
Based on the back of research into attitudes towards the NHS in England, this new recruitment campaign builds a message based on the evidence that suggest nursing and doctoring is one of England’s respected and trusted professions, and one that has a certain sense fondness attached to it.
The message focus makes no mention of function benefits or perks, instead it tactfully raises the conversation above pay or benefits of working in the healthcare and medical sector and instead positions the industry as a workforce of people who keep us safe and healthy.
Though not all industries are the same and if you’re not in the healthcare and medical sector, you’re probably looking for someone completely different, however it’s a strategy worth considering. Whether you’re trying to elicit a laugh or a goosebump the way to get a response out of someone is to make them associate your brand with emotion.
(Credit: 'We Are The NHS' Mullen Lowe London for NHS England https://www.thedrum.com/creative-works/project/mullenlowe-london-nhs-we-are-the-nhs)
At the end of the day, most of us want to leave work feeling like we have made a difference - a difference to better ourselves, but also to feel that what we do has meaning. If you’re missing this out in your recruitment advertising, you may be missing out on the most talented people who feel like they want to make a vocational difference in your industry.
Cheyne Cleaver is digital strategy and campaign manager at Big Splash Advertising, he works with businesses across New Zealand and Australia use digital tools that help them best find the candidates they are trying to reach.